This weekend the Chinese Year of the Snake will start. As usual I will send a digital New Year Card to family and friends, so I was looking in my photo archive for a suitable picture of a snake. Not so easy, because I don’t meet with snakes that often. Here is a collection of my encounters with snakes during the last ten years.
I am not afraid of snakes (as long as they don’t bite, haha). Here I carry a python in the Penang snake temple. Not really an animal you want to cuddle, the skin feels a bit clammy
I had only one encounter with a python on a jungle trip. Actually I almost stepped on it, as it was resting just besides the trail. It didn’t move at all, first we thought it might be dead, but when I touched its head (ok, with a long stick, not my fingers, lol), it opened an eye. I think it must have eaten recently.
Here is another “lazy” snake, a cave racer, no idea why it got its ‘fast’ name. It feeds mainly on bats and it did not mind that its picture was taken. This was in the Dark Caves below the famous Batu caves,
One of my first encounters with a snake in the wild occurred in Endau Rompin National Park. After a waterfall trip and a bath in the Selai river, I was relaxing near the river with a book, when I noticed that less than one meter away a beautiful snake was doing the same (without a book). Moving slowly I stood up and walked to my backpack to get my camera, hoping the snake would stay where it was. It did.
To be honest, I had one encounter with a snake which could have ended unpleasantly. It happened at Upper Chiling fall. I was carefully crossing the river, when I saw not far from me what I thought was a stick. But the stick was waving and at the same time my friends shouted, look out, snake! Within a split second I was back on the bank of the river! It was a black spitting cobra and clearly not pleased with my presence. The main danger with this kind of cobra is that they can spit accurately in your eyes, causing blindness.
During my usual walk in Bukit Kiara we quite regularly notice green whip snakes resting on the ferns. To be more precise, I don’t usually notice anything until my friend Robert spots one, he is very good at it. Beautiful snakes, only slightly poisonous, it seems. In the picture to the right Robert shows that you can take the snake by its tail.
Here is a picture of another whip snake, also taken in Kiara, isn’t it beautiful?
During a trip with the Kiara Bunch, a few years ago, we had a remarkable encounter with a snake which had managed to get its head inside an empty Guinness beer can! The poor creature could not get it out, so of course we (Robert, that is, haha) rescued the snake from an untimely death. I think this is a (harmless) rat snake.
That’s about it, regarding my experience with snakes…:-)
By the way, for those of you who believe in astrology (none, I hope!) the Snake zodiac is not a bad one. Although for me, a Monkey, it may become a turbulent year. Hm, as if the last year was not turbulent enough already!
You may ask, did I find a suitable snake picture for my New Year wish? Yes, I did! It’s a temple snake in the Penang snake temple. When you enter this temple, at first you may ask, why do they call it a snake temple? But when you look more carefully, you will find snakes all over the place.
Here is our card. May the year of the Snake fulfill your wishes, and bring you happiness.